Ronaldo Hat-trick Helps Manchester United Get Past Tottenham Hotspur

Ronaldo Hat-trick Helps Manchester United Get Past Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United once again had Cristiano Ronaldo to thank, as his hat-trick was enough to beat a tenacious Tottenham Hotspur side at Old Trafford.

The 3-2 result reflected a game that ebbed and flowed in parts and dragged in others, and a spectacular moment from the great man on 12 minutes lit up what had been a timid start to proceedings, with neither side really really chasing when out of possession.

After a hip flexor problem ruled him out of United’s derby day humiliation at the hands of Manchester City last time out, Ralf Rangnick was brave enough to start the Portuguese legend from the start, and the Portuguese’s inclusion was justified as he fired a corker past Hugo Lloris from range after excellent midfield work by Fred to set him up.

After great link-up down the left by Heung-Min Son and Sergio Reguilon allowed him to steal a march on the lagging Jadon Sancho, Antonio Conte felt his side had leveled when Ben Davies of all people tucked past David de Gea at the near post, but the flag was raised as United escaped.

After an initial Eric Dier effort from the outskirts of the box, Spurs pierced the right side, and Dejan Kulusevski’s cross was ruled to have been touched by Alex Telles as Jon Moss pointed to the spot.

As De Gea judged correctly, talismanic striker Harry Kane deservedly equalized, but Spurs got the goal they deserved as they put the pressure on their hosts, who had shrivelled back into their shells significantly following Ronaldo’s opening.

But it was Ronaldo, who had Old Trafford bouncing again just two minutes later, when Reguilon was caught napping on the far side, playing Jadon Sancho onside from a Nemanja Matic clipped through ball, and Sancho laid a gorgeous opportunity on a plate for Ronaldo, who slotted past the helpless Hugo Lloris.

Son dragged a shot just wide of the target following superb build-up between Kulusevski and Kane on the hour, and Dier’s header was cleared off the line by Diogo Dalot as Conte’s side struggled to convert the openings provided to them by a less-than-convincing United defensive unit.

However, Harry Maguire’s misery this season was compounded once more when he turned past his own goalkeeper, poking a Sergio Reguilon cross into his own net to add to Rangnick and Man United’s defensive miscues, as Spurs took advantage of their hosts presenting them with opportunities to pile on the pressure.

But who else was the night’s hero for United, as ‘Viva Ronaldo’ echoed through Old Trafford, when he rose highest with eight minutes to play, and his tremendous header from an Alex Telles corner grabbed the points for Rangnick and his men?
Rangnick’s side was defensively shaky, but he won’t mind as his team picks up a crucial three points in a crucial moment of the race for the top four, but they still have work to do against Atletico Madrid in midweek and, more importantly, in the Premier League if they are to catch Arsenal, who have four games in hand.

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